Judges play for St. Patrick’s Day crowd at Canarsie senior center

April 3, 2019 Rob Abruzzese
Sue Ann Partnow (top left) with JASA members. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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A pair of Brooklyn judges provided musical accompaniment for some Canarsie seniors for St. Patrick’s Day when they stopped by the Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA) at the HES on Seaview Avenue last month.

Justice Matthew D’Emic and Justice Lawrence Knipel, administrative judges of the Brooklyn Supreme Court’s criminal and civil terms, respectively, are becoming known as the judicial dynamic duo as they have played music together on more and more occasions.

Justice D’Emic has been a part of the local Bay Ridge band Whippoorwill for over a decade now and has played music going back to his teenage days, while Justice Knipel always wanted to learn to play guitar, but only has learned in the last few years. Both play with an infectious style that has drawn crowds from the local legal community.

Judge Lawrence Knipel and Judge Matthew D'Emic performing for the JASA crowd. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
Judge Lawrence Knipel and Judge Matthew D’Emic performing for the JASA crowd. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese

“He told me that I’m the reason he started playing,” D’Emic said. “It’s a very kind thing to say, and he’s gotten quite good in the short time that he’s been playing.”

In front of a room filled with green-clad seniors, Justice D’Emic led on songs such as “Molly Malone,” “Fields of Athenry,” and “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” ending with “Danny Boy,” as a tribute to Judge D’Emic’s mother and aunts.

Judge Knipel led on old favorites like “Okie from Muskogee,” “Long Black Veil” and “Momma Tried.”

Afterward, they and the seniors continued to celebrate with a meal that included corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and a special holiday dessert.

“This is the only time you should ever appear before these judges,” joked Sue Ann Partnow, the director of JASA at the HES.

Ruth Cohen, president of the center, offered her thanks to the judges and explained that they were welcome to come back any time.

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